Oral & Vision Health Blog

A Comprehensive Oral Evaluation: Key to your Overall Health

Your mouth speaks volumes about your dental and overall health, without uttering a single word. A comprehensive oral evaluation is used to access all the mouth’s secrets. It is one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal in your efforts to be healthy. Therefore, it is one of the first things that your dentist or specialist will do when you walk into their office. It gives your dentist a complete picture of your oral health. And because of the unique connection between the mouth and the rest of your body, it also gives dental providers a glimpse of what is happening with your overall health. 

What is done during a comprehensive oral evaluation?

The exam has three major segments. They include:

  • Medical History Review:  Part of a comprehensive oral evaluation is the review of your medical history. This alerts your dental provider to any underlying medical conditions.
  • Your Head and Neck: Your provider examines what is called extra-oral tissues. This includes areas of your head and neck. Your dentist or specialist is searching for any abnormalities, tenderness, inflammation, or pain.
  • Your Mouth:  An examination of your mouth (which includes taking x-rays) clearly indicates what is going on with your dental health. It is rich with evidence, showing cavities, gum disease, defective restorations, oral cancer and more.  The areas of the mouth examined include:


    1. Teeth
    2. Lips
    3. Saliva
    4. Scars
    5. Inside of Cheeks
    6. Hard and soft palate
    7. Throat
    8. Tongue
    9. Floor of the mouth
    10. Gums
    11. Teeth

So, who should do this exam and how often?

If you are a new patient, you should receive this evaluation. Additionally, if you have been a patient in the office for years but you have not had any active treatment in three or more years, you are due for a comprehensive exam

What can the mouth tell us about the body?

 An oral examination can detect things that may be wrong with your body. Its many telltale signs easily alert your provider to various medical conditions or diseases. Here are some health conditions or diseases that can be seen from your mouth and that affect or are affected by your oral health:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Premature birth or low birth weight
  • Blood pressure
  • Leukemia
  • Immune system abnormalities
  • Sinus problems
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease 

A comprehensive oral evaluation is one of the most powerful tools you and your dental provider have. It gives your dentist or specialist the lay of the land and enables him/her to create a plan to address each issue found. And because of the connection between your mouth and your body, this evaluation gives the information needed to help you on your health journey. 

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